Destinations International Annual Convention did not disappoint! We joined the industry's best and brightest for a jam-packed few days spent in St. Louis, Missouri. Now that we’re home, we’re downloading all that we learned and we want to share our post-conference insights with you.

The keynotes shared exciting insights and innovation from around the world, delivered by powerhouse speakers. Signe Jungersted, CEO and founding partner Group NAO, and Mark Ellwood, contributing editor Conde Nast Traveler relayed how tourists are turning away from traditional travel in favor of untouristic, local experiences and Millennials are changing the landscape of travel through micro trips.

What’s more, we heard how over-tourism and easier access to travel are impacting our industry’s future, but tourism continues to be a powerful means to build better communities. As Signe said, “Ask not what locals can do for tourism, but what tourism can do for locals.”

Moving on to the workplace, writer, brand strategist, and diversity consultant Arwa Mahdawi said, “Micro-actions result in macro changes.” She’s talking about diversity in the workplace and marketing, stating it’s not simply a box to be checked; Organizations must create a welcoming environment where people feel welcome. 

Finally, we heard how extreme focus is the only way to stand out in an industry where competitor lines are blurring. Make failure your fuel and, as executive, activist, and entrepreneur Sarah Robb O'Hagan said, “Be spectacular for a few, not average for many.” 

In addition to the great keynotes, we were excited to have some breakout sessions. In case you missed them or you want a refresher, Simpleview's CEO Ryan George joined CEO of Regional Tourism Office 4 Inc., David Peacock, to analyze case studies to learn how to better manage digital assets. You can download the presentation, Destination Digital Audit: A Holistic View of Your Entire Digital Footprint from the Visitor Perspective.

Sandee Jordan, director of content marketing at Simpleview, discussed the importance of creating an engaging strategy to guide your content creation. Her insights from Making the Case for Content Strategy can be found in her presentation slides.

Perhaps one of the best takeaways from DI Annual 2019 is all of the memories! From the sessions to shared cups of joe to dinner and drinks on a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel riverboat, we captured many moments from this year’s conference in St. Louis, and so did you! You can find these digital memories by searching #AC19StLouis on Twitter and Instagram. 

From all of us at Simpleview, thank you for another amazing Destinations International Annual Convention. We look forward to seeing you again in Chicago in 2020.